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A culinary icon in the Philippines, Jollibee was hoping to open 600 stores this year, over half of them overseas. But the the coronavirus pandemic has put those plans on hold. (Photo by Cliff Venzon)
Business Spotlight

Jollibee's quest for global dominance derailed by virus

US acquisitions continue to weigh down Philippine fast-food empire

CLIFF VENZON, Nikkei staff writer | Philippines

MANILA -- Philippine fast-food king Tony Tan Caktiong has always wanted to rule the world.

"Since the start of Jollibee Foods 40 years ago, I have always dreamed [for] it to be the largest food company" on the planet, Tan Caktiong told shareholders in June 2018, explaining his decision buy struggling Denver-based hamburger chain Smashburger.

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